Black Friday is only 99% doom and gloom. There's a 1% out there, a band of brands and businesses taking a stand against it, or at least attempting to turn it in to something more positive.
And then there are those who are just plain and simple green washing you to an extent where you'll find yourself buying something that didn't need to be made, at a lower discount than it was for sale with a month ago, but in recyclable packaging and maybe with the addition of a tree planted, and we'll all think that seems like a good idea.
THIS SOUNDS LIKE A RANT
It is. But it's also to highlight the good and genuine Green Friday and Green Friday esq initiatives.
As a result of Black Friday, campaigns and forms of protest have risen and take place across the world. One of these is Buy Nothing Day.
The idea of Buy Nothing Day is to shine a spotlight on the serious implications of overconsumption on the health of the planet and people.
Is Black Friday actually making people more aware of overconsumption by partaking in it?
What if we could use Black Friday as a way of encouraging change. Imagine we made it about promoting a lasting lifestyle commitment to consuming less and producing less waste.
The official Green Friday campaign encourages both boycotting Black Friday (to engage with nature, spend time with friends and time away from screens), but also promotes sustainable shopping and arguably, sustainable consumption, if there is such a thing.
Promoting the message of, if you're going to shop on Black (Green) Friday, shop with sustainable brands.
Does Green Friday highlight overconsumption, or does it provide a 'green alternative' in order to enable it?
Well, this probably comes down to the deal. Does that deal make you buy something you don't need? Does it bring a sale to a product that should never have been made?
Does a sale on this day this year, mean that brand will make more products to have on their shelves on this day next year? Did buying it this year encourage a brand to 'go harder' on Green Friday in future years?
BREAKING DOWN THE DEALS
I went to a popular search engine to find some 'Top brands with eco alternatives to Black Friday'. This is what I found:
Planting trees for Green Friday. Commendable, but if it's not being done on every day of the year, it's green washing you in to buying on Black Friday.
Carbon offsetting for Green Friday. Same as the above really, it's green washing you in to buying on Black Friday.
Extra discount to give more. Well if you're discounting that heavily, whats really left to give?
Extra discount to stop items going to waste. Where do I start here? If you don't buy them, they'll throw them in to landfill? FFS.
Sometimes there's just no winning, not if you're the Planet or the people having to make the products.
IT IS GREENWASHING GALORE
Unfortunately, we're all going to have to look a little deeper if we're taking advantage of some Green Friday deals. We're also going to have to make some assumptions.
Giving to Charity is good. Giving a percentage of profit is good. Giving a clear £ figure is good. Transparency is good.
Giving a percentage of profit on a full priced product, is good. But if that product was heavily discounted, is there any profit left to give?
Are we left feeling like we've done good by buying, but actually we haven't done quite what we thought we did?
IS THERE GREEN FRIDAY HOPE?
Brands and businesses that do good things, don't just do them on Black Friday.
So if it's not normal practise, is it green washing? You need to be the judge of that.
WHAT ARE DEWERSTONE DOING FOR BLACK FRIDAY?
We're having a massive sale here. (Just kidding, that would be ironic though 😂)
We've got something better planned..